Thursday, February 21, 2008

February (mid month progress)

Hi, all-- Following Abby's lead..... I've made some progress this month. I've rewritten/revised the methodology chapter and I am **this close** to being done with the case study chapter. Next up is the literature review. I have asked someone to read the case study chapter-- and he always offers such good feedback-- but I just haven't gotten it done yet. But really. I'm **this close.** I'm hoping to send it out on Saturday.

But that brings me to something I've been thinking about lately: apologizing to all dissertation writers everywhere.

Let me explain: Over the past few years, I have read some really awful dissertations, and these are in my (our) discipline. Just awful. They are short and underdeveloped. Riddled with typos. Simplistic. Just awful for something that is suppose to add original knowledge to the field, to contribute to the profession. Some of the dissertations I've read? Not even close.

However, writing is a dissertation is so hard. Really. I'm finding it exhausting and sometimes demoralizing and infantalizing. I think to myself, "if I didn't have to work full time," "if I wasn't teaching so much," "if only....." then, I could get the diss done and it'd be a significant contribution, and I'd get a job, and make millions, and write books, and live happily ever after.

But those dissertations I scoffed at? They might have been weak or not carefully proofread or whatever, but they are done. A committee of graduate professors let them through. Those writers actually kept their butts in seats (to borrow Abby's phrase) and they got the work done. They are now Ph.D.s somewhere..... So, to all of those disses I dissed: I'm sorry. I didn't understand.

But tomorrow? I will keep my butt in the seat and I'll get that case study finished. I will.

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